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Workforce Issues in a Changing Society is the focus of a Continuing Legislative Educational Series in may

By Julie Moser
Institute on Disability
603-862-3603

April 28, 2003


DURHAM, N.H. -- More than 100 state representatives and senators are expected to attend the third session of an educational series for the N.H. State Legislature in May entitled Workforce Issues in a Changing Society, sponsored by the Real Choice Advisory Council, in collaboration with Rep. Peter Batula and Sen. Jane O'Hearn.

The Real Choice System Change Project is a collaborative effort between New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services, Granite State Independent Living, the Institute of Health, Law and Ethics at Pierce Law Center and the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire.

Robyn Stone, executive director of the Institute for the Future of Aging Services in Washington, D.C., will present the third session for legislators only on May 13, 2003, in Concord. A presentation for state department and community agency staff will be held on May 12, 2003. Stone is a noted researcher and leading international authority on aging and long-term care policy.

For information about the May series contact Susan Fox, Real Choice Project Director, at (603) 228-2084 or e-mail swfox@cisunix.unh.edu.

More than 120 New Hampshire state representatives and senators attended the March session to hear Dr. David Braddock from the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado talk about financing community-based long-term care. This topic was of particular interest, considering the current conversation in the Legislature centered on the state budget.

While Dr. Braddock commended the state on its progressive service system, particularly for persons with developmental disabilities, the data he presented did not paint a positive picture for the future of these services. His data indicate that:

  • The number of people on New Hampshire's waiting list for community services for persons with developmental disabilities is growing, from 157 in 1994 to 391 in 2003;

  • Family caregivers are aging and only 37 percent are under the age of 41;

  • People with developmental disabilities are living longer;

  • Direct support staff earn below poverty-level wages;

  • New Hampshire ranks 6th nationally in per-capita income yet ranks 50th in state and local taxes as a percentage of personal income.
The series is an initiative of the Real Choice Systems Change grants awarded to New Hampshire by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The $2.3 million three-year project is in response to President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative "to help ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to live close to their families and friends, to live more independently, to engage in productive employment, and to participate in community life."

The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire is a University Center for Excellence on Disability,
established in 1987 with a mission to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities into their communities.

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